Editor’s Note: This listicle is part of a series by The Ball State Daily News summarizing five stories from around the world. All summaries are based on stories published by The Associated Press.
The pandemic prompts changes in how future teachers are trained, ex-Cuomo aide details groping as lawmakers meet in private, Epstein accuser sues Prince Andrew, Texas governor seeks out-of-state help against COVID-19 and hot weather could spur a California weather makes up this week's five national stories.
Changes to standards and curricula happen slowly, but the pandemic is already leaving its fingerprints on the education of future teachers. Many U.S. educator preparation programs are incorporating more about digital tools, online instruction and mental and emotional wellness in their courses to reflect takeaways from the pandemic. While school system leaders are hoping to offer in-person instruction as widely as possible this year, experts say the emphasis on technology will have benefits regardless of the pandemic’s course. Across the country, teaching programs are giving more emphasis on how to plan and implement quality virtual learning.
Lawmakers took another early step toward Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s possible impeachment Monday, hours after an aide who accused him of groping her said in her first televised interview that she initially remained anonymous for fear the governor’s “enablers” would destroy her. Brittany Commisso, an executive assistant on Cuomo’s staff, detailed her interactions with the Democrat in a joint interview with CBS and The Times Union of Albany that was broadcast Monday as a key New York legislative committee met behind closed doors to discuss potential impeachment hearings. She was also the first woman to file a criminal complaint against Cuomo, giving a report to the county sheriff Thursday.
One of Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime accusers sued Prince Andrew on Monday, taking accusations that she has repeatedly publicly lodged against him, including that he sexually assaulted her when she was 17, to a formal venue. Lawyers for Virginia Giuffre filed the lawsuit in Manhattan federal court, where Epstein was charged criminally with sex trafficking a month before he killed himself at age 66 in August 2019 in an adjacent federal jail where he was ordered to await trial. Giuffre has repeatedly made her allegations against Epstein, his onetime girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, and Andrew, but the lawsuit was the first time she has directly confronted Andrew in such a formal setting. It steps up public relations pressure on the prince, even if he remains beyond the reach of the courts.
Gov. Greg Abbott appealed for out-of-state help to fight the third wave of COVID-19 in Texas while two more of the state’s largest school districts announced mask mandates in defiance of the governor. Abbott’s request Monday came as a county-owned hospital in Houston raised tents to accommodate their COVID-19 overflow. Private hospitals in the county already were requiring their staff to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Meantime, the Dallas and Austin school districts announced Monday that they would require students and staff to wear face masks. The Houston school district already announced a mask mandate for its students and staff later this week if its board approves.
California’s largest single wildfire in recorded history kept pushing through forestlands as fire crews tried to protect rural communities from flames that have destroyed hundreds of homes. Thick smoke cleared for several hours along one edge of the Dixie Fire on Monday, allowing aircraft to join nearly 6,000 firefighters in the attack. Many were battling to protect more than a dozen small mountain and rural communities in the northern Sierra Nevada. Crews managed to cut thousands of acres of new fire lines and the fire’s southern edges were in good shape but the fire’s future was an unknown, authorities said. But high pressure building over the Western United States meant the weather would heat up and dry out again in the next few days, fire meteorologist Rich Thompson warned.